What is the new Google algorithm update about?
On August 18, Google Search Central published an overview of a new Google update. The so-called “Helpful Content Update” aims to weed out content that only serves the purpose of gaining a higher ranking in the Google search rankings. Content that was written for this reason and does not help or inform users is said to be affected by the new Google update. Google itself says of the new update, “The helpful content update aims to better reward content where visitors feel they’ve had a satisfying experience, while content that doesn’t meet visitors’ expectations doesn’t perform as well.”
Here’s a helpful overview of the new Google algorithm update:
- Name: Google Helpful Content Update.
- Launch date: To be announced in more detail, but likely the week of August 22.
- Length of rollout: it will take about two weeks for the update to fully roll out.
- Purpose: It’s about content created to perform well in Google Search results, not to help or inform people.
- Search only: The Google update currently only impacts Google Search, not Google Discover or other Google tools. However, Google may extend the update to Discover and other aspects in the future.
- Penalty: Google did not mention a penalty, but this update seems to feel like a penalty for sites that are affected. For example, if a website contains a large amount of affected content, the entire website will be affected.
- Affected areas: it is a site wide Google algorithm, which means that all websites will be affected by this update.
- Not a core update: This Google algorithm update is not a core update.
- Affected languages: The update currently only affects English-language content, but will likely expand to other languages over time.
- Impact: It is still unknown what percentage of searches or searches will be affected by this update, but Google conveys that the impact will be significant. In addition, Google said the impact will be most noticeable in online educational materials, entertainment, shopping and technology-related content.
- Recover: if you’ve been affected by the update, it’s imperative that you review your content and see if you can boost your content with the following advice from Google.
- Refresh: The exact process is still unclear, but there will likely be a time-out for affected content, with a subsequent validation period after the content is improved. It could therefore take several months to recover from this refresh.
Google update advice
👍🏽 Do you have an existing or intended audience for your business or website that would find the content useful if they came directly to you on the website?
👍🏽 Does your content clearly demonstrate first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge (e.g., expertise that comes from actually using a product or service or visiting a site)?
👍🏽 Does your site have a main goal or focus?
👍🏽 After reading your content, will someone feel they have learned enough about a topic to achieve their goal?
After reading your content, will someone feel they have had a satisfying experience?
👍🏽 Do you follow Google’s guidelines for core updates and for product reviews?
However, when it comes to avoiding creating unhelpful content, Google provides additional points. Answering “yes” to any or all of the following questions is a clear warning sign that you should rethink and revise your content:
👎🏼 Should the content primarily attract people from Google Search rather than be written for people?
👎🏼 Are you producing a lot of content on different topics in the hope that some of it will do well in search results?
👎🏼 Do you use extensive automation to produce content on many topics?
Are you mainly summarizing what others have to say without adding much value?
👎🏼 Are you writing about things because they’re trending right now, rather than because you’d otherwise write about them for your existing audience?
👎🏼 Does your content leave readers feeling like they need to search again to get better information from other sources?
👎🏼 Do you target a certain word count when writing because you’ve heard or read that Google prefers a certain word count?
👎🏼 Did you choose a niche topic without any real expertise, but mainly because you hope to get search traffic from it?
👎🏼 Does your content promise to answer a question that doesn’t actually have an answer, such as claiming that there is a release date for a product, movie, or TV show when it hasn’t been confirmed?
Here’s what experts recommend. Glenn Gabe, digital marketing veteran with over 25 years of experience, advises:
What does the new Google update mean for AI-generated content?
With the Google update, the main question now is what impact the update will have on AI content. In the meantime, both short content, such as product descriptions, and long content, such as SEO-optimized blog articles, can be generated by artificial intelligence. But what will AI content look like after the new Google update? Will Google especially penalize such content in the future?
It is important to emphasize that the Helpful Content Update is not specifically targeting AI content, but rather content in general that is of poor quality and does not inform users or satisfy them. So, if your content is not of good quality and does not help users, then it does not matter if this content is written by humans or by artificial intelligence.
In general, it can be said that AI text generators such as neuroflash only ever provide the basis for new texts. This basis should in all cases be revised again by a human. Make sure that the content addresses your target group and contains useful information for readers or answers important questions. The AI is the writer and you are the editor. Only you decide what content will eventually be published on your website. As long as you use AI text generators in this way, you don’t have to worry about the new Google update and can continue to create high-quality content with AI.
The new Google update will bring some changes. The goal is to increase the amount of high-quality content in Google Search in order to improve user satisfaction. The focus is not specifically AI generated content, but any kind of content that is poorly written and offers little added value for readers. As long as quality assurance by humans takes place, the continued use of AI text generators is harmless despite the Google algorithm update.